The Malik Report
As the Red Wings prepare to face the Arizona Coyotes tonight (7:30 PM EST on FSD/FS Arizona/WWJ 950), both teams are respectfully sizing each other up, as NHL.com's Paul Harris noted:
"The League is extremely tight," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "Every single night comes down to a play here and a play there. It's been well-documented we've gone into a lot of overtimes and had leads and things like that. We just got to keep grinding, keep getting better, and when we go into overtime try to win as many of those as we can."
The Coyotes know they can't give the Red Wings much room.
"They've got a lot of skill; skill and speed. They know what to do with the puck," defenseman Michael Stone said. "With that speed, we have to take away their time and space."
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
As Mike Green has adjusted to his new teammates, the points have started to rack up for him.
Green had nine points entering tonight's game between the Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes at Joe Louis Arena. Green had assists in two of the previous three games, and scored his first goal Nov. 20. That's the sort of production the Wings hoped for when they signed Green in July.
"He has done a really good job," coach Jeff Blashill said. "He has gotten more and more comfortable as the year has gone along. He has done a really good job of understanding the way we want to play, of being active with our defensemen, of being part of the breakouts, being part of the entries, and being a big part of the o-zone, and he has done an excellent job."
Green, 30, is tied with Niklas Kronwall for most points among the team's defensemen, but Green has played six fewer games than Kronwall because of a shoulder injury incurred late October.
The two were paired up about 10 games ago, when Blashill decided to use Danny DeKeyser on the shut-down pairing with Jonathan Ericsson. It wasn't difficult for Green to adjust.
"Nik is such an easy guy to play with, you know he is going to be there for you and he makes hard, smart plays," Green said. "It's been nice, really nice."
from Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com,
The Red Wings are not where they want to be but at least they're getting points.
After Tuesday's shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres, the Wings have gotten points in eight straight games, going 5-0-3 in that span.
It is their longest such streak since recording at least one point in 12 consecutive games (10-0-2) from March 11-April 3, 2010, when they were fighting to make the playoffs.
"I think we are starting to play really offensive hockey, we are over-shooting the puck, we have lots of shots on net at the end of the game," said Tomas Tatar, who has five goals and two assists in the eight games. "We just have to learn how to manage the score. We've been leading a lot but we let them tie the game so we know we have to be smarter to the end of the game and finish the game without going into overtime."
"Anytime you get a chance to get two (points) that’s obviously what you want to do regardless of how we get them," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "But in the long run you’ve got to find a better way to success, I think."
continued plus more Detroit topics...
From the Red Wings:
Competing for bell ringing bragging rights
Blashill, Holland, Lindsay, Murphy and four players to bell ring on Dec. 4
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will compete for bragging rights on Friday, Dec. 4, to see which duo can raise the most money for The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, as four teams bell ring at different Metro Detroit retail locations. Fans are asked to make a $10 donation per autograph at all four locations.
Head Coach Jeff Blashill will join Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland, who is serving as Honorary Chairman of the 2015 Red Kettle Campaign for the 10th straight year, at Kroger in Plymouth from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Fans visiting Hockeytown Authentics in Troy between 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Friday can obtain an autograph from forwards Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm by making a $10 donation per player. Forwards Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan will also represent the Red Wings at Kroger in Farmington Hills from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Additionally, Red Wings Alumni Ted Lindsay and Larry Murphy will bell ring at Kroger in Birmingham from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Updated 7x at 1:49 PM: The Red Wings reported no lineup changes save Jimmy Howard opposing Mike Smith in the nets when the Wings face the Arizona Coyotes this evening (7:30 PM on FSD/FS Arizona/WWJ 950), and as the Wings' beat writers filed their game-day articles, the Arizona Republic's Sarah McLellan reported that the Coyotes "took an optional":
Looks like an optional skate for the #Coyotes this AM. Tippett not out there. Neither are Michalek, Gordon, Stone, Vermette and Boedker.
Smith first goalie off the ice for #Coyotes.
The Red Wings hope to buld upon their 8-game point streak tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes (7:30 PM on FSD/FS Arizona/WWJ 950 due to the Lions game; tonight is a Toys For Tots collection evening), and the Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena just after 10:30, per MLive's Ansar Khan...
#redwings Richards working in with fourth line at the morning skate. Maybe banged up?
Richards practicing on power play and looks fine. So not sure why he was skating with fourth line.
From the Red Wings and Swedish goalie mask artist David Gunnarsson:
Update: From David Gunnarsson on Instagram:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that Anthony Mantha's been absent from the Grand Rapids Griffins' lineup due to concussion protocol, but is ready to return:
He has been out since he traded a couple punches with San Diego's Stu Bickel in a late third-period exchange Nov. 20.
"It was just weird. He thought I hit a guy in the back of the head but it wasn't me and he turned around and just grabbed me," Mantha said. "It's part of hockey. It happens, and obviously I'm not going to just stand there. I tried to do something, but it was too late and we fell."
Afterward, Mantha had to be evaluated for a concussion and missed the immediately-departing bus to Chicago for a game the next night. As a precaution, Mantha said, he was held out all week.
2. The Free Press's Jamie Samuelssen discussed the Wings' scoring issues:
The Red Wings hope to keep their 8-game points streak rolling against the Arizona Coyotes Thursday evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM).
Detroit will start Jimmy Howard opposite Mike Smith this evening, but the Red Wings didn't practice on Wednesday, so any other personnel tweaks won't be revealed until the morning skate.
The Coyotes are beginning a set of back-to-back games tonight (they play in Buffalo on Friday), and while Arizona dropped a 5-2 decision to Nashville on Tuesday, that game snapped a 3-game winning streak and a stretch in which the Coyotes had won 4 of 5 games.
While part of Wednesday's Yotes narrative involved the strange rallying for John Scott's All-Star candidacy, the Coyotes could also build upon the fact that they led Nashville 1-0 and 2-1 on Tuesday, and didn't trail by more than a goal until the final 3 minutes of play--in other words, the 5-2 loss wasn't as bad as it seemed--but the Coyotes spent Wednesday focusing on "structure," as the Arizona Republic's Sarah McLellan reported:
Of prospect-related note:
In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin had an assist and finished at +1 in 14:12 of ice time as SKA St. Petersburg defeated Spartak 5-0;
In the FInnish Liiga, Julius Vahatalo had an assist and finished at +1 in 15:33 of ice time as TPS Turku lost 4-3 to SaiPa;
In Swedish HockeyEttan, Hampus Melen didn't play in Morrums GoIS IK's 4-1 loss to HC Dalen;
In the USHL, Chase Pearson scored a goal and added 2 assists in the Youngstown Phantoms' 6-5 OT win over Muskegon. Pearson was named the game's first star;
And in the QMJHL, Adam Marsh and the Saint John Sea Dogs did not play the Acadie-Bahthurst Titan as the game was postponed, presumably due to weather.
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